No real weighted woes in TH

The Minister in charge of Religious Affairs Dato’ Seri Mujahid Yusof ought to be treating the facts pertaining Tabung Haji (TH) wholesomely accurate and without political overtone, because a lot is at stake here.

In a ‘shock and awe’ revelation made at Parliament this morning, Mujahid blamed TH for its Hibah exercise which he malignantly described as, “Illegal”.

The Star story:

Mujahid: Tabung Haji paid dividends illegally since 2014 as debts exceeded assets


KUALA LUMPUR: Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) has been illegally paying dividends (hibah) to its depositors since 2014, says Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa.

The Minister in charge of Islamic affairs explained that the dividend payments had contravened the Tabung Haji Act 1995 as TH had more debts than assets in the previous years.

He cited TH’s 2017 financial report, tabled in Parliament on Monday (Dec 10), which showed that it has more liabilities (RM74.4bil) than its total assets (RM70.3bil).

This meant a total deficit of RM4.1bil as of Dec 31, 2017. 

First, its assets cannot be less than its debts and second, there must be profits to be distributed. 

“TH has been declaring hibah since 2014, not in accordance with the Act, because its assets have been less than its liabilities,” he told reporters during a press conference in Parliament on Monday (Dec 10). 

TH’s 2017 financial report, audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), had recommended the Government initiate a “comprehensive turnaround plan” to address the RM4.1bil gap, said Dr Mujahid. 

Under the plan, Dr Mujahid said PwC had proposed setting up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to take over, rehabilitate and maximise the recovery of its underperforming assets. 

He added that the SPV has been approved by Cabinet and it will be in operation before the end of 2018. 

Dr Mujahid said that TH will be placed under the supervision of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) on Jan 1, 2019, and expressed confidence that the turnaround plan will be implemented by the government as soon as possible

“Cabinet had discussed the turnaround plan thoroughly and given our full support and endorsement to the plan, so that TH’s financial position can be regularised and the people’s confidence can be restored. 

“To ensure the long-term sustainability and resilience of TH, the government has decided to place it under the supervision of BNM administratively, from Jan 1, 2019.” 

Meanwhile, Dr Mujahid also said depositors may receive their dividend payouts for 2018. 

“Now that the restructuring plan is here, if we can fulfil two conditions and if there is profit, then definitely we will get (dividends). 

“But that will be announced before the end of the year, we have not close out accounts for the year yet.” 

Dr Mujahid also hinted that further action may be taken against the previous administration of TH. 

“Since 2014, TH has been giving dividends without fulfilling the two conditions. So, where did they get the money? I leave that to you,” he said. 

“That will be dealt with later,” he added.

************

The announcement by Minister Mujahid is a politically very hazardous.

What is interesting in Minister Mujahid’s statement that no mention of the the clear policies of how TH’s treatment of assets, borrowings, added value or impairment of losses and investments.

Clearly, how then Auditor General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang signed off the audited accounts.

The fact is that TH is not facing not had faced liquidity and cashflow issues, troubled borrowings and in the exact line to explain 1MDB commercial issues, “Mismatch between assets, borrowings and cashflow management”.

Two Fridays ago it was revealed that TH made two Police reports against previous TH Chairman, Group Managing Director, CEO and several current key management personalities.

What is interesting is that they are pertaining to Yayasan Tabung Haji activities “inclined to be political” last year and a corporate exercise of disposal of subsidiary and assets of plantations in Indonesia, six years ago.

Were there red flags raised by then the Auditor General?

Another interesting fact is about TH’s holdings and investments in Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd (BIMB).

TH de-invested most of it’s holdings in BIMB throughout 2016 and 2017 and obtained a premium, which very positive to TH’s balance sheet and directly, the 9.7 million depositors.

That’s comparatively to present capital and financial market level and performance.

TH maintained operations for the benefit of depositors and aspiring Hajj pilgrims all over the country, on top a globally Hajj operations in Saudi, year-on-year, which what it was formed to do.

This is a point which Minister Mujahid should continuously stress on instead of making ‘shock and awe’ announcements, which is political in nature and would confuse TH depositors and aspiring Hajj pilgrims more and provide comfort for their savings.

The fact that exactly week ago, a foreign news carried a malignant media story to hit at TH, added to the political overtone of Pakatan Harapan leaders pawning TH at an effect with the expense of TH depositors and aspiring Hajj pilgrims.

What is interesting is the Malay-Muslim confidence of the Pakatan Harapan leadership in the Federal and State Governments, all and in sundry, is on the eroding and bearish trend.

More so in the recently concluded successful highly peaceful and incident free rally of 300,000 Malay-Muslim that send a thunderous message that their interest cannot be taken lightly or at their expense.

Minister Mujahid should strive to preserve the 9.7million confidence with uplifting developments in TH instead of using it for politics and at the expense of the too many simpletons who saved in TH and aspire to fulfil the fifth tenet of Islam.

Majority of those who saved in TH are not analytical enough to understand the corporate decisions made by professionals, to preserve the strategic interest in TH’s investments, which is to extend and strive for better benefits to more the 9.7million depositors and on record the over a million Hajj pilgrim aspirants.

The horror past ghost in making malicious political revelation at the expense of TH caused a few thousand to lose their assigned queue for Hajj, by closing their accounts due to a media shock started by a blogger. This happened a three and half years ago.

Minister Mujahid also announced the creation of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to sort out TH financial and commercial woes is also to politicise and cast the aspersions that TH is heading into a deep financial crisis, which is heading the receivership and administration destination.

Obviously, some quarters would commercially benefit from the corporate exercises which would be undertaken by such SPVs.

On top of that to announce that Bank Negara Malaysia would be the governing authority over TH is to politically demonise the current corporate governance of TH which include the Auditor General and all the acts and authoritative bodies are incompetent or inadequate.

Minister Mujahid should call for the extensive due diligence and quicken the Police investigations on TH, instead adding into the political overtone.

In the final analysis, political overtone outweighing the strategic interest of the simpleton amongst rural and lifetime savers of TH, is a road for calamity of the majority Malay-Muslim, way pass the political lifespan of the current leaders in power.

The institutional credibility and integrity of TH should never in anyway be the pawn of political masters.

Advertisements
Published in: on December 10, 2018 at 15:00  Leave a Comment  

Malignant Media Mode

In the days of the ‘New Malaysia’, apparently the new administration still resorts to the old ways of presenting their politics and gunning the opponent.

The Malay Mail Online story:

Report: Tabung Haji deposits short of RM4b, at least

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 2 — Malaysia’s dedicated savings fund for Muslims to perform the mandatory haj pilgrimage should have RM64 billion in assets, but has been found to be short of RM4 billion in deposits in 2016, according to The Sunday Times.

The weekend edition of Singapore daily The Straits Times reported that Tabung Haji (TH) has nine million depositors, but it has yet show the audit of its 2017 accounts following a change in its board and senior management after the 14th general elections in May, suggesting that the losses in deposits could have climbed since.

The newspaper also cited an anonymous senior official in the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government saying the TH management had “faked last year’s accounts to justify its dividend payout” of up to 6.25 per cent just before the May 9 elections, which brings the total to RM2.7 billion.

Today’s disclosure cracks open further the lid on a new financial can of worms after the new TH board filed police reports against its former chairman and several other members of the senior management over two issues: that RM22 million in the fund’s welfare arm Yayasan Tabung Haji had been diverted for political activities last year; and the savings fund’s 95 per cent stake sale in PT TH Indo Plantations, a plantation company which had owned 83,000 hectares of land in Indonesia, to PT Borneo Pacific for US$910 million (RM3.8 billion) in 2012.

PH leaders previously claimed TH was being used as a pyramid scheme where dubious deals were struck to pay out dividends to depositors.

The pilgrimage funds are government-guaranteed and are further straining the Treasury that is already struggling with a sovereign debt of RM1 trillion that the new PH administration can hardly afford.

The Singapore paper said the government is mulling several options for TH.

One of them is to slash dividends for the next few years so that TH’s profits from its diversified portfolios can offset the obligations to depositors and narrow the loss of assets.

But the paper analysed that such a move could increase public anger which would further dent PH’s popularity which according to opinion polls, has dropped below 50 per cent since it took Putrajaya half a year ago.

Another option the government is said be to considering is a revamp of TH’s 150 real estate assets globally, and its stakes in over 100 listed companies, though it will be years before the yields can be seen.

“If we simply impair or cash out on our bad investments, depositors will start withdrawing,” an anonymous senior official was quoted saying.

************

There is no transparency in this story. A personality or personalities within TH Group is still leaking out information, more so to foreign media, of information yet to be verified.

If there was actual dodgy happenings within any firm, then there are proper procedures have to be sorted out.

The foreign media quoted a senior PH official, which only provide the slant of this story is on a political bias.

Then again, the ruling party of the new Federal Government had been on ‘Blame-Game’ mode and overwhelming use the ‘Trial by Media’ bias and propaganda machine, to rationalise for their own failures of managing the nation.

The fact is that the economy is on a bearish trend when RM exchange to USD is on the rise, KLCI already lost 200points, commodity prices have gone down and Government investment arm Khazanah Nasional Bhd. already lost almost RM65b in market capitalisation if it’s portfolios.

Maintaining the integrity and public confidence for TH, which is the primary agency to manage the savings and investments of Hajj pilgrims and use the proceeds for generation of Hajj operations, is very critical.

In any move, commercial or political, the interest of the 9.7million depositors, who are 100% Malay-Muslim and form the majority of Malaysians.

Published in: on December 3, 2018 at 10:30  Leave a Comment  

Korban untuk orang Melayu?

Hari Wuquf 1439H menjanjikan segala hikmah dan barakah kepada umat Islam, tetapi tidak kepada Bangsa Melayu sekiranya dasar dan perlaksanaan untuk mendukungi usaha untuk memajukan mereka, dicadangkan diubah.

Laporan Nikkei Asian Review:

Mahathir advisers propose reviewing Malay privileges to reform economy

Long-standing Bumiputra policy favors ethnic majority, from scholarships to contracts

CK TAN, Nikkei staff writer

August 20, 2018 21:08 JST

Updated on August 20, 2018 23:22 JST

KUALA LUMPUR — Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s hand-picked advisers have recommended changes to Malaysia’s Bumiputra policy, a set of affirmative actions aimed to lift the social welfare of the majority-ethnic Malays. The policy, introduced in 1971, accorded a wide range of favoritism — from scholarships to access to government contracts based on ethnicity, rather than on merits.

Past attempts to revise the policy have been met with strong protests from conservatives in the country, including Mahathir, who argued that Malays would be diminished in their own birthplace without state support.

“We want to get it right this time,” Daim Zainuddin, the head of the Council of Eminent Persons, told reporters on Monday. The former finance minister did not reveal the recommendations but said the advisory council would induce “positive mindset change” and competitiveness of the Bumiputra, or sons of the soil.

“Any program proposed and developed should not be to the detriment of economic growth nor at the expense of other social groups,” Daim said.

The suggestions from the advisory council were part of a report, completed on Monday, recommending the government review decadeslong policies seen as promoting abuse of power and hampering progress.

The report, Daim said, was a culmination of 100 days of feedback from over 350 individuals at more than 200 organizations, which included regulatory enforcement agencies, trade associations and social activists.

To grow the economy further, the report proposed a new framework for investment incentives that are “outcome-based” for the promotion of sustainable and inclusive growth, he said.

The country’s fiscal position would be strengthened with a revised tax policy aiming to increase the government coffer in the wake of the abolishment of the goods and services tax, a crucial revenue component.

The recommendations, if adopted by the government, would overturn long-held practices, partly blamed for widespread corruption and abuse of power that hindered progress.

Critics say that the Bumiputra policy, for example, has led to corruption. Beneficiaries who have won government contracts without an open tender sell their stakes for a quick profit. Those who actually take on a contract will become beholden to continuous state support, without which they could not survive in an open market.

Former Prime Minister Najib Razak tried to revise the policy when he came into power in 2009, proposing to liberalize the economy to increase competitiveness. But his proposal was immediately slammed by Mahathir.

Mahathir, now in power for the second time, appears to realize how such discriminatory policy based on one’s ethnicity could hinder the country’s stated goal of becoming a developed economy by 2020.

The prime minister, now on a five-day official visit to China, lamented over the weekend at how Malaysia has fallen behind other countries due to the lack of a “learn and produce” mentality. “In Malaysia, we like to buy and that’s it,” Mahathir said in Beijing on Sunday at a meeting with Malaysian citizens living in China.

But it is not clear how ethnic Malays, who account for about two thirds of the country’s population, would accept any revision to the nearly five-decades-long Bumiputra policy. If implemented without a wide consensus, the revision could push the conservatives to throw their support behind the opposition, led by the United Malays National Organization, the party that Mahathir once belonged to.

UMNO has recently formed a loose alliance with the conservative Malaysian Islamic Party, or PAS. Both parties, which advocate the protection of race and religion as ideology, are seeking to challenge the Mahathir-led Pakatan Harapan, or the Alliance of Hope.

The five-person council, set up immediately after Mahathir came into power after the May 9 election, was tasked to advise the government on institutional reform and resolving the financial scandal in state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

Other members of the council include Zeti Aziz, the former central bank governor of Malaysia; Hong Kong-based tycoon Robert Kuok; Hassan Marican, the former president of Petroliam Nasional, or Petronas; and Jomo Kwame Sundaram, who served for seven years as the United Nations assistant secretary-general for economic development.

**********

Pengumuman Pengerusi Majlis Orang-Orang Tua bertentangan dengan isu yang sama, semasa Penggal 1 Parliamen XIV membahaskan soalan yang dikemukakan kepada Menteri.

Menteri Hal Ehwal Ekonomi Dato Sri Azmin Mohamed Ali meyakinkan Dewan Rakyat bahawa peruntukan untuk MARA menaja pelajar diperingkat ijazah ditambah kepada 58,000 pelajar IPT tempatan dan 7,000 pelajar IPT diluar negara.

Peluang pendidikan merupakan salah satu teras utama apabila Dasar Ekonomi Baru (DEB) diperkenalkan pada tahun 1971, bagi mengimbangi ketidak-sama-rataan dan menampung jurang sosio-ekonomi antara Bumiputera dan Bukan Bumiputera.

Apakah dasar untuk memberikan kemudahan, bantuan dan menaja pelajar Melayu, samada peringkat sekolah menengah atau menara gading, merupakan ‘menggalakan amalan korup dan salahguna kuasa, dan menghalang kemajuan ekonomi’?

Jika Kerajaan dibawah Perdana Menteri Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad menerima cadangan ini dan menggubah dasar dan perlaksanaan, terutama mengenai hal ehwal pelajaran bagi Bangsa Melayu, maka ianya amatlah malang sekali.

DEB menjadi ‘Korban’ demi kuasa yang beralih dari tangan orang Melayu yang mendasari kepentingan Bangsa Melayu tanpa menjejaskan hak kaum lain, kepada golongan majoriti.

Published in: on August 20, 2018 at 23:55  Comments (3)  

Zahid: UMNO Bangkit dan Memandang kehadapan

Calon Presiden UMNO pada pemilihan parti Sabtu 30 Jun 2018 ini Dato’ Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi berhasrat membawa wadah perjuangan orang Melayu itu kehapadan dan terus mewarisi kerjasama dengan etnik lain tanpa menafikan hak mereka dalam usaha memartabatkan kepentingan orang Melayu dan Bumiputera.

Seorang pemimpin yang pernah menerajui organ parti pelbagai peringkat sepanjang tiga puluh tahun ini, beliau mempunyai rekod menyuarai dan membawa agenda akar umbi dan warga marhaen dalam UMNO.

Ini termasuk sebagai Ketua Pemuda Pergerakan Pemuda UMNO, mencabar Presiden UMNO ketika itu mengenai persepsi amalan ‘kronyism’ dan ‘pilih-kasih’ Kerajaan dalam ucapan dasar mesyuarat agung tahunan sayap parti pda tahun 1997.

Zahid juga pernah ditahan oleh Polis dibawah Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA) dalam episod pemecatan Timbalan Perdana Menteri dan Presiden UMNO pada 2 dan 3 September 1998.

Pendekatan Zahid apabila menjadi Menteri juga membawa perbezaan dan mengukir sejarah.

Doa untuk pejuang bangsa: (dari kiri) Birg Gen Rahim, Jen Tan Sri Zulkifli, Dato’ Seri Zahid, Dato’ Dr Latif dan wakil Kelab RAMD

Beliau merupakan Menteri Pertahanan pertama yang memberi penghormatan kepada 1 Rejimen Askar Melayu dengan secara rasmi mewakili Kerajaan Malaysia bagi pada upacara memperingati ulang tahun ke 70 pertempuran dimana 146 perwira terdiri dari pegawai dan anggota Askar Melayu gugur mempertahankan kubu di Bukit Chandu, Singapura pada 14 Februari 1942.

‘Projek Jiwa Murni’ yang diperkenalkan Kementerian Pertahanan merupakan strategi Kerajaan dibawah pimpinan Zahid untuk menggunakan sumber teinikal dan kepakaran tentera dalam membawa pembângunan terutama infrastruktur dikawasan luar bandar terutama pendalaman Sabah dan Sarawak.

Penerimaan rakyat keatas kepimpinan beliau sebagai wakil rakyat juga membuktikan keyakinan dalam memperjuangkan kepentingan mereka. Dalam PRU 14 baru ini, Zahid mendapat pertambahan majoriti berbanding dengan dua pencabar utama dalam pertandingan merebut keresi Presiden UMNO.

Apa yang lebih menarik ialah kerusi Parlimen Bagan Dato’ merupakan demografi pengundi dikalangan orang Melayu paling kecil peratusan berbanding dengan dua kerusi Parlimen pesaing beliau dalam pertandingan jawatan Presiden UMNO itu.

Ini mengukuhkan bahawa penerimaan kepimpinan Zahid sebagai wakil rakyat dikalangan pengundi Bukan Melayu juga lebih menyakinkan.

Zahid secara yakin menerima kepertanggung jawaban untuk meneruskan wadah perjuangan UMNO dan memperingkatan sokongan orang Melayu, yang terbukti masih mendukung sokongan rakyat dengan kedudukan parti yang ditubuhkan sebagai suara massa orang Melayu untuk menentang empayar kuasa besar dunia, iaitu Britain lenin 72 tahun lampau.

Latar belakang Zahid juga jalan sebagai seorang marhaen dan mendapat pengajian dari IPTA tempatan, berbanding dengan kedua-dua pencabar beliau yang berasal dari golongan menenegah atas dan menerima ijazah dari universiti di United Kingdom.

Beliau juga mempunyai rekod sebagai pemimpin UMNO yang menunjukkan minat dan keterbukaan menerima sebarang aspirasi akar umbi. Ini mudah dibuktikan dalam perjalanan sebagai pemimpin UMNO sepanjang 30 tahun ini menyantuni pelbagai organ parti disemua peringkat, seluruh negara.

Ini merupakan modal berharga bagi Zahid membukti bahawa beliau merupakan personaliti yang paling layak menerajui parti keramat orang Melayu untuk bergerak kehadapan membawa perjuangan nasionalism dan mempertahankan kedudukan Islam dan orang Melayu, sebagai yang termaktub dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan dan parti UMNO.

 

Published in: on June 26, 2018 at 23:30  Leave a Comment  

Kilang Kirim & Co.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad made another U-Turn when he announced that the High Speed Railway (HSR) is postponed instead of cancelled.

The Star story:

HSR project postponed, not scrapped, Dr M tells Japanese media (updated)

NATION

Tuesday, 12 Jun 2018
11:23 AM MYT

image: https://www.thestar.com.my/~/media/online/2018/06/12/03/24/328476608_0-8.ashx/?w=620&h=413&crop=1&hash=F60FC1B2CBA519EF56811221C9372FDFF56CA41F

image: https://content.aimatch.com/default.gif

image: https://content.thestar.com.my/smg/settag/name=lotame/tags=Demo_Gender_Female_enr,Int_Sports,Int_Travel_Business,Int_Lifestyle,Int_Sports_Football,Int_Travel,all,Int_Parenting,Int_Property_Affluent,Int_Automotive,Int_Business_Finance,Int_Entertainment,Demo_AffluentAudience,Int_Property,Demo_Age_45to54_enr,Demo_Gender_Male_enr

PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad seemed to have walked back from an earlier decision when he told a Japanese publication that the high-speed rail project had been merely postponed, not cancelled.

Speaking to Nikkei Asian Review on the sidelines of the Future of Asia conference in Tokyo, he said Malaysia cannot afford the project at this moment but signalled that the door is still open.

“We cannot say we will never have high-speed rail (HSR) in Malaysia. What we can do is we can postpone the project because it is far too costly at this moment,” he said.

Dr Mahathir said Malaysia would need an HSR but it is something to only consider in the future.

image: https://content.thestar.com.my/smg/settag/name=lotame/tags=Demo_Gender_Female_enr,Int_Sports_Football,Int_Property,Demo_AffluentAudience,Int_Sports,Int_Parenting,Int_Travel,Int_Lifestyle,Int_Business_Finance,Int_Travel_Business,Demo_Age_45to54_enr,Int_Entertainment,Int_Automotive,Int_Property_Affluent,all,Demo_Gender_Male_enr

After being sworn in as prime minister, he had announced on May 28 that Malaysia will be dropping the HSR project with Singapore, citing it as an “unnecessary project”.

However, in his interview with Nikkei Asian Review, Dr Mahathir commented that the Singapore HSR project is merely postponed.

“We actually postponed the implementation of that project.

“High-speed trains are most effective where the distance is very long. But where the distance is short, it doesn’t contribute much.

“So we need to rethink high-speed rail,” he said.

Dr Mahathir also suggested the possibility of building an HSR “right through the Peninsula”.

“We cannot say we will never have high-speed rail in Malaysia – there will be a need for high-speed rail in the future,” he said.

Last month, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng also said the Government’s decision to scrap the HSR project was not only due to the high price tag of building it, but also steep cost burden to maintain the 350km link in the longer term.

This decision was also part of cost-cutting moves to slash the federal government debt of over RM1 trillion, Lim said.

He told the South China Morning Post that the new administration estimated the initial cost of the high-speed rail project was likely to be more than RM100bil.

Singapore’s Ministry of Transport said it had yet to receive an official notification that the project had been cancelled.

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/06/12/hsr-project-postponed-not-scrapped-dr-m-tells-japanese-media/#uH0sXUZeYRGGku7l.99

***********

Raja Petra Kamaruddin dubbed this “Cancelling the cancellation”.

It is announcements such as this would erode the market confidence, if not now affecting the perception of the global commercial and capital, financial and debt markets towards Malaysia.

Earlier, Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir announced that the national debt is RM1 Trillion which saw the trigger of a series of reaction.

Bursa Malaysia recorded foreign funds dumped RM5.8billion worth of holdings and the KLCI dipped to 1770 points.

Published in: on June 12, 2018 at 16:30  Comments (1)  

Blue over Red

AirAsia founder and CEO Tan Srì Tony Fernandes strongly sends a message to vote Barisan Nasional (BN) at this XIV GE.

He urged Malaysians to continue vote and support the BN Government.

“The Government and Prime Minister Najib put the country first”.

It is very comforting to see Charted Accountant turned media executive and now corporate giant Fernandes committing himself and assets of the firm towards the campaign of BN.

On the other hand, Chairman of AirAsia X Tan Srì Rafidah Aziz is hard on the campaign trail for the Opposition coalition.

The former BN Wanita Chief was sacked from UMNO two days ago.

The Edge Market story:

Rafidah amused by Umno’s sacking over support for Pakatan

Tan Choe Choe

/

theedgemarkets.com

May 05, 2018 20:48 pm +08

KUALA LUMPUR (May 5): Former Minister of International Trade and Industry Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz is amused over news that she has been sacked by Umno’s disciplinary board for speaking at opposition Pakatan Harapan’s events.

Rafidah, who made her debut appearance on the opposition’s stage in Melaka on Friday night amid thunderous applause from the crowd, asked how can Umno sack a person who is no longer a member of its party since about a decade ago.

The former Wanita Umno chief told theedgemarkets.com that she does not want to be a member of an organisation that does not even abide by its own constitution and is “existing without legal foundation and standing”.

Here is her reply in full, sent via WhatsApp, when asked to comment on the issue:

“I read with sheer amusement on the ‘Public Announcement’ that I have been “sacked” by UMNO. What ‘sacking’? I have ceased being a member of UMNO since almost a decade ago. I have never attended any cawangan meeting for years! No one can ‘sack’ a non-member!

“UMNO is sadly NO LONGER now the ‘United Malays National Organisation’ I was inducted into in the 1960’s. The very spirit, culture and embodiment of TODAY’S UMNO has strayed so far off-TANGENT from the original UMNO before this present cohort of so-called leaders. It seems now to be all about PERSONAL LOYALTY, a materialistic culture, often driven by GREED for power and personal enrichment, and NOT about serving the people and nation.

“Humility, Good Manners and Mutual Respect has been replaced by ARROGANCE. UMNO MUST reform and go back to basics if it were to remain relevant in the ever changing environment. UMNO is NOTHING without its original spirit.

“One does NOT have to be a card-carrying member of ANY political party to serve. After almost half a century of being a member, I can NO LONGER identify with the UMNO of today. The VALUE SYSTEM has been eroded. Principles no longer seem to matter. UMNO does NOT even ABIDE by its OWN Constitution and is existing without legal foundation and standing.

“Do I still want to be a member of such an organization, which also seem to condone Kleptocracy? NO WAY.”

Rafidah then went on to share a video of Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak that was taken in 2015, when he announced that the party’s supreme council has decided to postpone the party’s election that was due to be held in October 2016, by 18 months. In the video, Najib also said the postponement could not be more than 18 months from the original due date, according to the party’s constitution.

It was reported earlier today that Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor confirmed that he had signed letters to expel Rafidah, together with former Finance MinisterTun Daim Zainuddin, for their outright support of Pakatan Rakyat, while another former minister Tan Sri Rais Yatim has been placed under investigation for disciplinary issues .

“I was at the Umno headquarters yesterday (May 4) and signed the letters to withdraw their membership,” he was quoted as saying.

“According to the party’s constitution, they as Umno veterans should know their actions were wrong when they give ceramah on the opposition’s stage,” Tengku Adnan reportedly told reporters in Putrajaya.

Daim, meanwhile, has expressed relief that he was sacked from Umno, saying he had no business being in an “illegal society”.

************

Another chartered accountant turned corporate leader turned Minister of Economic Planning and now Chairman of the largest unit trust investment firm Tan Srì Abdul Wahid Omar also came out in his effort to support Federal Government’s commitment It initiative for the economy.

Assalamualaikum wbt dan salam sejahtera rakan-rakan sekalian.

1. Alhamdulillah dua hari lagi pada hari Rabu 9 Mei ini, kita rakyat Malaysia bakal menjalankan tanggungjawab untuk mengundi dalam Pilihanraya Umum ke14. Ramai rakan-rakan yang tidak sabar untuk keluar mengundi setelah sekian lama berkempen dan ‘dikempen’. Bagi kita yang bukan ahli politik pun terasa penat. Bayangkan apa perasaan ahli-ahli politik yang terlibat secara langsung dalam PRU14 ini.

2. Kita menghargai mereka yang secara sukarela mengenengahkan diri untuk bertanding dan berkhidmat kepada rakyat. Tidak kira sama ada menang atau kalah, kedua-duanya memerlukan pengorbanan tenaga, wang dan masa keluarga. Sekiranya menang, sebahagian daripada mereka berpeluang memegang jawatan dalam pentadbiran yang pendapatannya mungkin tidak setimpal dengan tanggungjawab berat yang dipikul. Sekiranya mereka kalah, lagilah berat kerana mungkin terpinggir dari kancah politik negara sekarang-kurangnya selama 5 tahun.

3. Dalam tempoh kempen, pelbagai isu telah dibangkitkan. Antara yang paling kerap dibahaskan adalah cukai barangan dan perkhidmatan atau GST. Izinkan saya menyentuh 5 perkara berkenaan GST yang telah diperkenalkan 3 tahun yang lalu pada 1 April 2015:-

i) GST 6% ini menggantikan cukai jualan 10% & cukai perkhidmatan 6%. Ia bukan cukai tambahan.

ii) Kadar 6% yang dikenakan adalah yang terendah di ASEAN dan antara yang terendah di dunia. 160 negara telah melaksanakan GST atau Value Added Tax (VAT). Sebagai contoh, kadar di Singapura 7%, Thailand 7%, Indonesia 10%, Vietnam 10%, Filipina 12%. Di Australia 10% dan di UK jauh lebih tinggi iaitu 20% .

iii) Untuk mengurangkan kesan kenaikan harga barang kepada rakyat, Kerajaan telah memperluaskan senarai barangan asas yang dikenakan kadar sifar atau terkecuali dari GST. Ini termasuk barangan makanan asas seperti beras, gula, minyak masak, ayam, daging, ikan & sebagainya, ubat-ubatan, buku-buku dan minyak petrol RON95 & Diesel.

iv) Semasa pelaksanaan GST diumumkan dalam Bajet 2014 pada 25 Oktober 2013, Kerajaan juga telah mengumumkan langkah ‘pengimbangan’ atau offset measures seperti pengurangan cukai pendapatan individu antara 1-3%, pengurangan cukai pendapatan korporat dari 25% kepada 24% dan pengurangan cukai perusahaan kecil & sederhana dari 20% kepada 19%. Pemberian BR1M isirumah berpendapatan RM3,000 kebawah sebulan juga ditingkatkan dari RM500 ke RM650 manakala isirumah berpendapatan RM3,000-4,000 sebulan mula diberikan BR1M RM450 buat pertama kali. Seterusnya dalam Bajet 2015, jumlah BR1M telah dinaikkan masing-masing kepada kepada RM950 & RM750 . Untuk individu bujang berpendapatan RM2,000 kebawah pula, BR1M dinaikkan kepada RM350. Ini semua bertujuan untuk meringankan impak kenaikan harga barang.

v) Tujuan asal pelaksanaan GST adalah untuk memperluaskan asas percukaian negara memandangkan kita hanya ada 2 juta pembayar cukai pendapatan, satu jumlah yang kecil berbanding jumlah rakyat Malaysia seramai 30 juta. GST adalah cukai penggunaan (consumption or indirect tax) dimana mereka yang berbelanja lebih adalah dari kalangan mereka yang berpendapatan lebih. Ini juga selaras dengan langkah konsolidasi fiskal yang mensasarkan bajet seimbang dalam jangkamasa pertengahan. Dengan peningkatan pendapatan Kerajaan, kita bukan sahaja dapat mengurangkan defisit fiskal kita malah dapat melaksanakan banyak projek pembangunan yang tertangguh sebelum ini seperti pembinaan lebuhraya, jalanraya, jambatan, sekolah, hospital, klinik desa, dll. Ini termasuklah pembinaan lebuhraya Pan Borneo yang sedang rancak pembinaannya dan dijangka siap pada tahun 2022.

4. Terdapat cadangan untuk menghapuskan GST dan berbalik kepada sistem percukaian lama iaitu SST. Bagi saya ini suatu langkah yang ke belakang atau ‘regressive’ dan boleh membahayakan ekonomi. Ini kerana kutipan GST pada tahun 2017 adalah sebanyak RM42 bilion dan dijangka meningkat kepada RM44 billion tahun ini berbanding kutipan SST RM17 billion pada tahun 2014. Sekiranya GST dimansuhkan, terdapat kekurangan pendapatan sebanyak RM27 bilion (2% daripada KDNK).

5. Sekiranya Ini berlaku, Kerajaan ada 3 pilihan. Pertama – Menaikkan cukai pendapatan atau memperkenalkan cukai baru seperti cukai keuntungan modal (Capital Gains Tax). Kedua – Mengurangkan perbelanjaan termasuk perbelanjaan pembangunan. Ini bermakna membatalkan atau menangguhkan projek-projek pembangunan yang telah diluluskan sebelum ini; atau Ketiga – Meningkatkan defisit fiskal kepada 5%. Kesemua opsyen tersebut amat berbahaya kerana boleh menjejaskan pasaran modal dan mengakibatkan penarafan kredit hutang antarabangsa negara kita diturunkan daripada paras A3/A- kepada BBB. Ini sudah tentu akan meningkatkan kos pinjaman dan memudaratkan ekonomi negara.

6. Saya berharap sistem GST akan dikekalkan. Perhatian boleh diberikan kepada memperbaiki lagi pelaksanaan program dan projek-projek yang dapat memberikan lebih peluang perniagaan dan pekerjaan kepada rakyat dan mempertingkatkan kesejahteraan rakyat. Ini selaras dengan matlamat model baru ekonomi yang mensasarkan Malaysia menjadi sebuah negara maju yang inklusif dan mampan.

7. Menjelang 9 Mei 2018, saya menyeru rakan-rakan mengamalkan 3 perkara berikut:-

i) Keluar mengundi seawal mungkin kerana ini adalah hak kita sebagai warganegara Malaysia.

ii) Jangan membenarkan pendapat politik memecah-belahkan atau mengasingkan keluarga. Silaturrahim perlu dikekalkan.

iii) Menerima keputusan dengan hati terbuka, merapatkan saf dan bersatu membangunkan negara.

8. Marilah kita bersama-sama memainkan peranan masing-masing, bersikap membina dan menghayati/ mengamalkan prinsip Rukun Negara iaitu Kepercayaan kepada Tuhan, Kesetiaan kepada Raja dan Negara, Keluhuran Perlembagaan, Kedaulatan Undangan-undang dan Kesopanan dan Kesusilaan.

Selamat mengundi & Salam hormat.

Abdul Wahid Omar

7 Mei 2018.

***********

It is a brief but substantial explanation about the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which has been blamed as one of the culprit for the rising cost of living.

Wahid’s message also reminded that the unity amongst Malaysians in all units should not be at the expense of politics and the practice of democracy.

These two corporate barons based their projections on the best returns on their investments.

Like wise, they urge to vote BN under the leadership of Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak for the best outcome in context of going concern, policies, it’s implementation and follow through, track record and strategic results.

Published in: on May 7, 2018 at 15:30  Comments (1)  

‘Chase the Lion’

MB Johor Dato’ Seri Khaled Nordin

Menteri Besar Johor Dato’ Seri Khaled Nordin had strategic economic agenda for the state to be an economic powerhouse and to ride on the growth and spill over effect of the Singapore economy and global trading and financial standing.

The Edge Market story:

GE14: Johor BN launches manifesto, aims to “Chase the Lion”

A+A

JOHOR BAHRU (April 14): Johor Barisan Nasional (BN) launched its manifesto, based on five thrusts including ensuring sustainable economic development, providing comprehensive infrastructure and talent development.

The ruling coalition will not let Johor become the ‘backwater’ to Singapore, said Johor BN chairman and menteri besar Datuk Seri Mohd Khaled Nordin at the launching event held at the Persada International Convention Centre in Johor Bahru today.

“Johor BN will not let Johor be the backwater to anyone, especially Singapore. We will not just sit here and watch Singapore develop itself, while not doing anything on our side. The southern tiger will chase the lion,” said Khaled, drawing loud applause from the attendees.

As the incumbent state government, Johor BN wants to position the state as a new economic power in the region, and become an economic and development competitor to any state or region, especially its southern neighbour.

The coalition offers a total of 230 pledges for the people in Johor over the next five years. Among the most notable pledges include developing each district based on its economic strengths and needs.

For example, Muar’s furniture manufacturing industry will be developed further with the development of Muar Furniture Park. The district will also be turned into an education hub for the country, mostly through the Pagoh University City which is home to about 7,000 students.

Segamat will be developed into the “Agriculture Hub of National Importance” or “The Holland of Malaysia”. The state government has planned to develop nucleus farms – named Agro Mix Farms – on a 46 acre site, which will be expanded to 100 acres over the next five years.

The state’s BN also pledged to increase the growth rate of the gross domestic product (GDP) to an average of 6% over the next five years , said Khaled. BN Johor is also committed to ensure the success of mega projects in the state, he added.

The mega projects that the coalition is promoting include the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID), the development of Pengerang Industrial Park with a RM1.1 billion investment, Ibrahim International Business District and Johor Bio Desaru Food Valley.

Other mega projects include :

1.       Developing Jemaluang Dairy Valley to create job opportunities in dairy processing industry

2.       Developing Nusajaya Tech Park with the aim of creating 20,000 job opportunities

3.       Johor Halal Park

4.       Sedenak Iskandar Data Centre Hub

5.       Boosting Johor’s position as the National Logistics Hub

Continuing on the coalition’s target to “Chase the Lion”, a reference to Singapore, which is known as the Lion City, Khaled said that it will develop the state’s tourism attractions and infrastructure, in order to compete with Singapore in attracting tourists from across the region.

“If Singapore has Gardens by the Bay, we will develop Desaru Coast, a multibillion tourism development which will see many world-class hotels and resorts. Desaru Coast will also have the largest wave pool in Southeast Asia,” said Khaled.

Desaru Coast, which is currently being developed at a cost of RM4.5 billion, will be operational this coming June, the manifesto read. In addition to that and Legoland and Hello Kitty Town, other tourism attractions that will be developed in Johor include :

1.       Sci-Fi Universe, a science fiction-based theme park with an investment of RM400 million

2.       Johor Eco Entertainment Park to be developed in Bandar Akademi YPJ Kota Tinggi with an investment of RM2.7 billion

3.       Pengerang Waterfront worth RM100 million

On the social side, Johor BN also pledges to reduce the burden of the high cost of living among the bottom 40 (B40) and middle 40 (M40) through several programmes, including by expanding “imCoop” across Johor by adding 50 more fair price shops by 2020.

The coalition also pledges to continue the Johor Affordable Housing Scheme, or Rumah Mampu Milik Johor (RMMJ) by building another 100,000 houses  by 2023. Johor BN also wants to expand the rent-to-own scheme to those with a household income of below RM3,000.

On the pledge to build 100,000 RMMJ by 2023, which coincidentally is similar to what Pakatan Harapan offered in their manifesto for Johor, Khaled said that the opposition coalition copied the state government’s ideas.

“When they copied our ideas, this shows that we are on the right track,” said Khaled.

Through the mega projects and economic policies, the state BN targets to create about 250,000 new job opportunities, including 14,000 high skill jobs through Iskandar Shares Services and Outsourcing initiative, 5,000 jobs in the furniture industry and another 5,000 in the oil and gas industry.

This commitment to increase job opportunities in the state will be followed by efforts to reduce dependence on foreign labour, said Khaled. For starters, the state government is in the midst of developing a Labour Rationalisation Plan, he added.

On infrastructural development, some RM600 million will be allocated for the maintenance of rural roads. The North – South Expressway between Yong Peng and Johor Bahru will also be upgraded to six lanes, from the current four lanes.

RM350 million worth of investment will be channelled towards developing the state’s sports infrastructure, mostly for the construction of the Johor Bahru Sport City and Arena Larkin. Mini stadiums will also be built in each districts, said Khaled.

Ending his presentation, Khaled said that Johor BN is not competing against Pakatan Harapan when crafting the manifesto. Instead, the coalition has a bigger aim, which is to make Johor as competitive as Singapore in the international arena.

“We must work hard to make Johor as the best state in Malaysia, so that within five to 10 years, the story of our success will be echoed, not only throughout the nation, but also across the Tebrau Strait. Let everyone knows that this Southern Tiger can roar as loud as the Red Lion,” he said.

**************

The Edge Market story based on Bernama report:

Johor set to outperform Klang Valley in economic contributions

ISKANDAR PUTERI (March 6): Johor’s rapid growth, which has been projected to continue in the next few years, may result in the state outperforming the Klang Valley in terms of contributions to the nation’s economy.

Johor Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, said he was confident the state’s economic growth would continue to accelerate within the next 10 years due to factors such as the over-development in the Klang Valley and its lack of space for future development.

He said his confidence was also based on Johor receiving the highest amount of investment in the manufacturing sector for four consecutive years since 2013 and being among the highest contributors to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).

“If we want to compare among Johor, Selangor and Penang, Penang is a small state, whereas Selangor is benefiting from the spillover from Kuala Lumpur (KL).

“When KL spends around KL, Selangor benefits. We do not have that in Johor, but look at how the state has been developing now,” he told Bernama in his office in Kota Iskandar recently.

Johor’s economic growth was backed by its strength in various sectors, he said, adding that the state was the nation’s third biggest contributor in major economic sectors, except for the mining sector.

Mohamed Khaled, who was also the Joint Chairman for the Iskandar Region Development Authority, said that from 2011 to 2016, Johor’s economic growth had surpassed the nation’s economic growth rate, with an average of 5.9% compared with Malaysia’s 5.1%.

In 2016, the state’s GDP growth was recorded at 5.7%, the third highest following Labuan (7.2%) and KL (5.9%).

In order to boost the state’s economic growth, the state authority had launched the Johor Strategic Development Plan in 2016, he said.

He said among other things, it included plans to capitalise on each district’s economic potential according to their respective niche and advantages.

For example, Muar would be developed as an education and furniture hub, while Mersing would be developed under the tourism sector, he said.

Mohamed Khaled, who is also the Permas Assemblyman, said the plan was crafted in such a way as it would be impossible for each district to be developing the same project.

“We do not want what is being done in Iskandar or Pengerang to be done in other districts, that is impossible.

“This is why we choose to develop each district according to their respective niche,” he said.

He said the rapid development in Johor Bahru, Pengerang and the Iskandar Malaysia Economic Region should not spark any jealousy among the residents in other districts, as the gains from the developments in those districts would be used to fund the developments in other districts in the state.

“The state government’s approach will ensure that the development in Johor is inclusive, balanced and ensures the people’s prosperity.

“If we do not have any development in any districts, especially in Iskandar and Pengerang, we will not have any resources or capability to develop other districts,” he said.

Mohamed Khaled said that by choosing to develop Johor in an inclusive and balanced manner, the state government would have to ensure that there would not be a large economic gap between the districts.

***************

This is a good strategy considering the projected Singapore GDP for 2018 is USD350 billion and the GDP per capita in the terms of purchase power parity (PPP) is third highest in the world.

In a Straits Times report, Johoreans prefer the investment from Singapore compared to other investor nations.

Johoreans ‘prefer Singapore investments’

Chinese developer Country Garden Pacific View responded to criticism that its RM444 billion (S$150 billion) investment in property project Forest City did not benefit locals by announcing last year that more than 40 per cent of its capital expenditurPUBLISHED

Poll shows state residents do not see China’s economic presence as beneficial to them

JOHOR BARU • Residents in Malaysia’s southern state of Johor welcome foreign investments generally, but favour investments from neighbouring Singapore over those from China, says a recent survey.

A poll conducted last month by the Merdeka Centre for Opinion Research showed that 69 per cent of 1,007 survey respondents in Johor were in favour of investments from Singapore, but only 56 per cent of them welcomed investments from China, according to The Malaysian Insight (TMI) news site yesterday.

Johoreans, according to the news site, do not see themselves benefiting from China’s growing economic presence in the state, largely in the form of multibillion-ringgit property developments.

“We don’t feel the positive effects,” Mr Zayani Ismail told TMI.

“The only thing they have done is drive up the local property prices and make it harder for people like me to buy a home in Johor Baru,” said the 32-year-old executive.

Many locals view Chinese investments with a mixture of disinterest and suspicion, mainly because the bulk of these investments were in high-end real estate, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute senior fellow Francis E. Hutchinson told TMI.

“The perception is that this drives up housing prices and many of those buying the newly completed units will not be local,” he said.

The survey also showed that more Johoreans – 29 per cent – were dissatisfied with Chinese investments than with Singaporean investments, which saw a dissatisfaction rate of 18 per cent.

Average Johoreans believe that Chinese projects do not provide enough local job opportunities, Dr Hutchinson said, in contrast to the involvement of Singapore-based multinationals in the 1980s development of Pasir Gudang that had directly benefited Johoreans.

“Beyond the jobs created, an important new township was developed in a sparsely populated part of the state,” he explained.

  • 69%
  • Of respondents were in favour of investments from Singapore.
  • 56%
  • Welcomed investments from China.

According to the TMI report, Chinese developer Country Garden Pacific View responded to criticism that its RM444 billion (S$150 billion) investment in property project Forest City did not benefit locals by announcing last year more than 40 per cent of its capital expenditure went to pay local firms.

Despite its revelation that RM4.7 billion was spent on local consultancy services, law and architecture firms and construction materials, the average Johorean’s scepticism remains, the report said.

The historical relationship between Malaysia and Singapore – they were part of the Federation of Malaysia until 1965 – also plays a part in Johoreans favouring Singapore, said Dr Hutchinson.

Singapore investments are also viewed as more relevant to Johor because of their close geographical location, with the two linked across the Johor Strait by the 1km-long Causeway at Woodlands and the 2km-long Second Link at Tuas.

Nine in 10 Johoreans polled said there should be a high-speed railroad between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur; 81 per cent said there should be a third link between the two countries and 88 per cent said Johor and Singapore should be linked by an MRT service.

****************

Khaled’s economic strategy to turn Johor into an economic powerhouse would have a desired effect on the creation of a quarter of million new jobs.

The Star story:

MB: Johor govt plans to turn state into economic powerhouse

  • NATION
  • Sunday, 21 Jan 2018

  • by mohd farhaan shah

    PASIR GUDANG: The Johor government has a long-term plan for the state and an aspiration to make it the new economic powerhouse in Malaysia, said Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.

    The Mentri Besar said mega projects such as the Rapid Transit System, Gemas-Johor Baru double tracking system, Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail and the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development project in Pengerang would set Johor above others once completed.

    “More importantly, these mega projects – together with other developments taking place here – will generate 250,000 employment opportunities in the state,” he said in his speech before officiating SMK Dato’ Penggawa Timur’s 44th Parent-Teacher Association meeting here on Sunday (Jan 21).

    Mohamed Khaled also blasted certain parties for questioning the state government’s efforts in attracting foreign investments.

    “Without these investments, the state government cannot develop Johor’s economy. We can see how vibrant are the developments here,” he said.

    Mohamed Khaled added that unlike Barisan Nasional, the Opposition does not have any concrete plans for Johor.

    He said that the state government has been proactive in addressing the high cost of living, especially in urban areas, through building affordable homes and other initiatives.

    “We have built 27% of affordable homes in Johor so far with a price range of between RM40,000 and RM150,000, which is the cheapest in Malaysia,” he said.

    Mohamed Khaled said it was the responsibility of the Barisan-led state government to ensure that the people is able to benefit from development.

    “It is our aspiration to make Johor a developed state and its rakyat enjoy prosperous lives,” he added.

    Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/01/21/mb-state-govt-plans-to-turn-johor-into-economic-powerhouse/#3UW2vOVCdaJ4ZIiV.99

**************

The Johor GLC firm of RM5.1 billion turnover Johor Corporation is set to embark on the Industrial Revolution 4.0, which is a manifest the shift on the state turning into an economic powerhouse.

Utusan online story:

JCorp sedia teroka Industri 4.0

MOHAMED KHALED NORDIN
MOHAMED KHALED NORDIN

JOHOR BAHRU 27 April – Kumpulan Johor Corporation Bhd. (JCorp) sedia meneroka bidang perniagaan global baharu terdiri daripada sektor Revolusi Perindustrian Ke-4 (Industri 4.0) pada masa depan.

Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin berkata, perancangan JCorp untuk me nyertai era Industri 4.0 merupakan satu usaha berterusan yang digerakkan pihaknya.

Mohamed Khaled yang juga Pengerusi JCorp bagaima napun membe ritahu, syarikat milik kerajaan negeri itu tidak akan tergesa-gesa sebalik nya akan mengikut perancangan ditetapkan.

“Penerokaan sektor Industri 4.0 ini akan dibuat mengikut keupayaan dan perancangan ditetapkan syarikat.

“JCorp merupakan instrumen terbaik kerajaan ne geri dalam menerokai bidang tersebut, sekali gus dapat memberi manfaat kepada rakyat seluruh negara,” katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian dalam sidang akhbar selepas me nyempurnakan Majlis Pelancaran Laporan Tahunan Johor Corporation Bhd. di Hotel Puteri Pacific, di sini hari ini.

Yang turut hadir, Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Perumahan dan Kerajaan Tempatan negeri, Datuk Md. Jais Sarday serta Pre siden dan Ketua Eksekutif JCorp, Datuk Kamaruzzaman Abu Kassim.

Sementara itu, Kamaruzzaman mengumumkan JCorp telah merekodkan perolehan berjumlah RM5.579 bilion bagi kewa ngan 2017, peningkatan 4.1 peratus berbanding perolehan tahun sebelumnya.

Katanya, kejayaan itu merupakan satu pencapaian yang memberangsangkan dalam keadaan ekonomi glo bal yang tidak menentu sepanjang tahun lalu.

“Keuntungan selepas cukai bagi peringkat kumpulan pada 2017 turut mencatatkan peningkatan sebanyak 31 peratus iaitu sebanyak RM542 juta berbanding RM415 juta pada 2016.

“Daripada segi pemilikan aset, jumlah aset Kumpulan JCorp bagi 2017 adalah sebanyak RM21.795 bilion,” katanya.

Artikel Penuh: http://www.utusan.com.my/bisnes/korporat/jcorp-sedia-teroka-industri-4-0-1.659805#ixzz5Ek8PU6pD
© Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd

******************

The RM120billion GDP Johor economy is poised to grow bigger, upon such prized investment such as the USD27 billion Petronas RAPID with investors such as Aramco of Saudi Arabia.

“It is a confidence shown for the Malaysian economy”, Minister in-charge Dato’ Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan said at the signing between Petronas and Aramco.

Aramco committed USD7 billion in the project termed as a ‘Green Field project’. “Saudi Aramco will support any financing for the project”.

The past five years saw MB Johor Khaled policies and leadership brought transformation and increment in the Johor economy.

The trickle down has been felt by the rakyat.

This is attested by a professional serving one of the Johor GLCs, who saw MB Khaled move to follow through policies and being implemented through GLCs and SPVs.

“MB Johor Khaled has delivered what he promised since five years ago. His ratings for delivery and implementation have actually gone up”.

‘Chase the Lion’ is one of the MB Khaled’s strategy to put Johor at even better spot, in the challenges of the overall transformation of Malaysia.

*Updated 7 May 2018 1500hrs

Published in: on May 6, 2018 at 23:00  Comments (1)  

Political promise of transformation

Last night Barisan Nasional (BN) Chairman, Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak launched and unveiled the BN Manifesto, spectacular in form and substance that awed majority of Malaysians.

In all, the 364 initiatives could be summed up as the fourteen core offerings.

It is more visible when the 220 page book is summarised.

The Star story:

BN manifesto: A vision for the nation


KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional’s general election manifesto unveiled by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak Saturday night contains 341 initiatives divided into 14 thrusts.

Following are the 14 thrusts are some of the key initiatives:

1. Mothers and women first

*Facilitating the process for single women in securing loans by permitting the combination of incomes with siblings or parents who fulfil eligibility requirements.

* Encouraging women to generate secondary incomes by easing microcredit loan requirements for women entrepreneurs who conduct businesses part-time.

* Encouraging the private sector to allow pregnant mothers to leave work an hour early.

* Extending the duration of tax incentives to 24 months for women who return to the job market.

* Adapting the flexible work hour scheme for mothers with children aged 2 and below.

* Providing incentives to companies that provide childcare centres and facilities for breastfeeding mothers.

* Allocating 7 days of special leave per year for women who are caregivers to their children or immediate relatives who are ill.

* Establishing one-stop centres that include childcare centres and entrepreneur centres for Felda settlers, in all Felda settlements, that is administered by the Confederation of Women Felda Settlers Malaysia.

2. A home for everyone

* Granting tax exemptions on housing rental income.

* Establishing a special bank to facilitate loans for affordable and low-cost housing priced RM300,000 and below.

* Providing tax incentives or development funds to encourage banks and housing developers to offer rent-to-own schemes.

* Introducing a single entity to synchronise all affordable housing initiatives, including the monitoring of construction work.

* Providing a Public Housing Assistance Scheme to assist renters who may be categorised as poor or Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).

* Upgrading long-houses in Sarawak, water-houses in Sabah, Orang Asli houses and estate workers housing units in the Peninsula.

* Ending the policy of Bumiputera lot discounts for property valued at RM1mil and above.

3. Three million jobs

* Speeding up the development of the Malaysian Vision Valley, a 150,000 hectare area that is projected to create 1.3 million job opportunities.

4. More smiles in Sabah and Sarawak

* Improving the quality of telecommunications coverage across Sabah and Sarawak with an allocation of RM2 billion.

* The rights of Sabah and Sarawak under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 will be realised by consensus.

5. Futuristic Transportation

* Introducing the TN50 Public Transport Pass (costing between RM50 – RM150) that gives unlimited monthly access to public transport for students, working youths, senior citizens and the disabled.

* Building an electrified railway line from Subang Jaya to the Subang Skypark Terminal as part of the integration of railway transportation.

* Adding more streetlights in Felda settlement areas.

* Upgrading 419 kilometres of sewerage pipelines in Felda areas.

6. Digital empowerment

* Reducing the cost of employing foreign domestic workers by introducing an Online Domestic Helper System.

7. Made in Malaysia

* Continuing efforts to develop the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector to assist Chinese entrepreneurs by strengthening the role and function of the Secretariat for the Advancement of Malaysian Entrepreneurs (SAME).

* Supporting food truck businesses by creating special areas for them to do business and instituting programmes for vehicle modification.

* Enhancing the contribution of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to the national economy through digital transformation by providing grants and credit guarantee opportunities to expand access to new international markets.

8. A newer BR1M

* Providing a one-off assistance of RM1,500 for the children of BR1M recipients that enrol in higher education institutes.

9. Rakyat’s economy

* Raising the minimum wage in phases to at least RM1,500 within five years.

* Providing a special incentive of RM5,000 to every Felda settler.

* Enhancing the well-being of employees of Government-Linked Companies and Government-Linked Investment Companies who earn RM2,500 and below through expanded insurance coverage, increased healthcare benefits and increased cost of living allowance.

* Creating a special grant for replantation worth up to RM7,500 per hectare for each qualified Felda settler in the next 5 years starting 2018. This grant is to reduce up to 70% replantation debt of Felda settlers.

* Writing-off the Felda settlers’ debt from the purchase of FGV shares.

* Allocating a special fund worth up to RM300 million to write-off extraordinary or extreme debt of all qualified Felda settlers for the next 5 years starting in 2018.

* Intensifying Felda 2.0 initiative via 15 plans for 2018 and 2019 with an allocation of RM300 million to create a smart community and sustainable local economy. This initiative will be continued to all Rancangan Felda nationwide and will benefit settlers and second generations residing in Rancangan Felda.

* Minimising the involvement of middlemen in agricultural and fishery products in order to reduce the prices of basic food items and increase the incomes of farmers and

fishermen.

* Expanding the funds for the Agricultural Assistance Scheme and replanting of palm oil, rubber, cocoa and kenaf smallholders.

* Allocating a special assistance scheme worth RM222 million for Felcra, Kesedar and Ketengah settlers.

* Reducing the maximum limit on interest rates and late payment charges for credit cards.

* Revising individual and corporate income tax rates to ensure Malaysia remains competitive in the regional market.

* Allocating RM3 million for the Art Practitioners Welfare Fund (Tabung Kebajikan Penggiat Seni TKPS) every 5 years.

* Providing an individual tax incentive of RM1,000 a year for those who contribute towards the development of national cultural arts.

10. Future oriented education

* Equipping five million school-going children with digital skills for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0) within five years.

* Increasing the number of subjects in the Dual Language Programme (DLP) to make it more comprehensive.

* Improving English language proficiency in schools through the Dual Language Programme (DLP), High Immersion Programme (HIP) and the introduction of English medium schools in Sabah and Sarawak as pilot projects.

* Introducing special student discount cards to reduce the costs of transportation, Government services and education-related necessities.

* Incorporating more historical facts and perspectives from Sabah and Sarawak to enhance the History subject syllabus.

* Establishing an Institute of Native and Indigenous Peoples Studies at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak and Universiti Malaysia Sabah.

* Qualified citizens with overseas examination certificates that are equivalent to Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) and Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) will be considered for enrolment in higher education institutions (HEI), under the condition that they obtain a credit in Bahasa Malaysia and a pass in History – this criteria also applies to issues pertaining to Unified Examination Certificate Senior Middle (UEC).

11. Live healthy

* Increasing the current individual income tax exemption rate for parents’ medical expenses from RM5,000 to RM10,000.

12. Peaceful Negaraku

* Transforming the police elite corps such as the Special Tactics and Intelligence Narcotics Group (STING), Special Task Force on Organised Crime (STAFOC) and the Special Task Force for Anti-Vice, Gambling and Gangsterism (STAGG) to increase the effectiveness of efforts in eradicating drugtrafficking, gambling, triad gangs and organised crime.

* Increasing the number of high definition closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV HD) in high-crime areas.

* Increasing the number of Voluntary Patrolling Scheme members to increase security controls and preserve the peace in areas with high crime rates.

* Boosting community involvement in crime prevention through PDRM’s initiatives by using the Volunteer Smartphone Patrol application.

* Ensuring all Police lock-ups in the country are equipped with high definition closed circuit television cameras (CCTV HD), as a way to prevent incidents of death, suicide and fighting during detention.

13. TN50

*Emboldening the role of youth in national development by generating new, fresh and creative policy ideas.

*Increasing the youth’s engagement with local governments (PBT) by establishing Youth PBT Councils that are capable of empowering

the role and voice of the youth at the local government level.

14. Universal Childcare

*Implementing a Universal Child Care policy by developing a curriculum, inclusive programmes and nutritious food guidelines, besides training professional childcare personnel.

*Adapting the flexible work hour scheme for mothers with children aged two and below.

Other Major Highlights

* Establishing a special non-Muslim unit in the Prime Minister’s Department to promote dialogue on equality and mutual understanding between races.

* The rights of Sabah and Sarawak under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 will be realised by consensus.

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/04/07/bn-manifesto-a-vision-for-the-nation/#hyQR4bBApRZxZ9Fs.99

************************

It is a continuation and an extension of the Transformation Plan Prime Minister Najib brought the nation to embark, less than a year after ascending into office as the Seventh UMNO President, Fifth BN Chairman and Sixth Prime Minister, nine years ago.

Starting with basics, three million new jobs would created.

Saturday April 7, 2018
09:12 PM GMT+8

ICYMI

Barisan Nasional president Datuk Seri Najib Razak pledged more job opportunities for Malaysians. — Picture by Mukhriz HazimBarisan Nasional president Datuk Seri Najib Razak pledged more job opportunities for Malaysians. — Picture by Mukhriz HazimKUALA LUMPUR, April 7 — In its14th general election manifesto, Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Datuk Seri Najib Razak pledged the coalition will a create a whopping three million jobs for Malaysians.

He said among others, it can be done by expediting the creation of the Malaysian Vision Valley (MVV) which is expected to create 1.3 million jobs.

In May last year, Najib said the MVV would be developed into five clusters: the Central Business District, Nature City, Edu-Tech Valley, Tourism and Wellness, and New Liveable Township.

The project would be developed over 153,000 hectares, encompassing Seremban and Port Dickson in Negeri Sembilan.

IN THE GALLERY


  • Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Najib Razak speaks during the launch of Barisan Nasional manifesto at Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil on April 7, 2018. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

  • Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Najib Razak (centre) and other party members waves Barisan Nasional flags during the launch of the party manifesto at Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil on April 7, 2018. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

  • Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Najib Razak gestures after the launch of the party manifesto at Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil on April 7, 2018. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

  • Barisan Nasional supporters gather inside the Axiata Arena Bukit Jalil for the launching of BN manifesto for GE14. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

  • Barisan Nasional supporters gather inside the Axiata Arena Bukit Jalil for the launching of BN manifesto for GE14. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

  • Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Najib Razak gestures after the launch of the party manifesto at Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil on April 7, 2018. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

  • Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Najib Razak launches the BN manifesto at Stadium Axiata Bukit Jalil April 7, 2018. — Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali

  • Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Najib Razak launches the BN manifesto at Stadium Axiata Bukit Jalil April 7, 2018. — Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali

State news agency Bernama previously reported Najib saying that the project was planned to be developed in phases until 2045.

The manifesto launched tonight also pledged to reduce dependency on foreign workers, and to “widen” the flexible work arrangement in the public sector.

The employment of those with disabilities may also be increased in various sectors, including being appointed as local councillors and Senate members.

Companies which employ those with disabilities may also receive additional tax incentives.

Employment opportunities for the disabled may also be widened, with the creation of a “one-stop special portal” to market their services.

BN also promised to introduce financial literacy module in schools and increase the public’s financial literacy by widening the outreach of the Credit Counseling And Debt Management Agency.

As previously articulated in various engagements, especially with Malaysian youths and under the context of ‘TN 50 Discourse’, the Federal Government is embarking towards the digital economy and ensuring the workforce amongst the youth and future generation would be skilled and suited for the demand of the changing economy and economic platform.

Earlier in the week, independent opinion such as the Managing Partner of PwC Malaysia projected the Malaysian economy would be global 24th position by 2020.

The Star story:

PwC: Malaysia to be 24th largest economy in the world by 2050

BUSINESS NEWS

Thursday, 5 April 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia, a medium-sized economy, is expected to improve its ranking to be the 24th largest in the world by 2050.

PwC Malaysia managing partner Sridharan Nair said Malaysia, already in the 27th position in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) contribution to the global economy, needed to invest in technology and education to further improve its ranking.

“Malaysia has a reputation for being pro-business and pro-investment,” he told Bernama during the 2018 Asia-Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce Business Summit here yesterday.

Malaysia would be on a steady growth path over the next 20 years, he said, adding that it would still do well despite some short-term ups and downs, as would be expected from a growing and emerging economy.

Malaysia has always been a trade and investment-friendly country with ease of doing business. However, according to Nair, Malaysia needs to tackle the issue of wage increase in tandem with the higher economic growth in order to benefit the people.

While Vietnam and Indonesia might rank higher in the global economy in terms of their contributions to the GDP due to the size of their population, he said, Malaysia was still doing well for a medium-sized economy.

Nair said the Emerging 7 economies (Mexico, Brazil, Turkey, India, Russia, China and Indonesia) were projected to dominate the world’s top 10 economies in 2050.

South-East Asia, he pointed out, currently captured high value-added US investments. — Bernama

**************

As part of the game to realise that, the most strategic bit of the BN Manisfesto is Prime Minister Najib intends to optimise the nation’s most prized resources; women and youth.

Of course, in the minds of the common voters, their biggest concern is the rising cost of living. The past month, Federal Government through agencies have been increasing allowances and the civil servants even got an across the board raise, as a direct effort to put disposable income into peoples’ pocket.

This BN Manifesto brought more goodies to the Malaysians under the B40 category, as His Majesty’s treasury chests have in a better position to alleviate their basic hardship.

The Star story:

BN manifesto: Double joy for BR1M recipients


KUALA LUMPUR: Recipients of the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) received a sweet surprise when Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak pledged several increments for them.

In front of a 40,000-strong crowd at Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil, Najib who is also Prime Minister announced a new BR1M category.

Recipients with household incomes of RM3,000 and below will have their BR1M payment doubled from RM400 to RM800 in June and August this year.

“This means that your BR1M payment for this year will be increased from RM1,200 to RM2,000,” said Najib at the launch of the election manifesto Saturday night.

He also announced that those with a household income of between RM3,000 and RM4,000 will have their BR1M payment increased from RM300 to RM600 in June and August.

This makes their total payout increase from RM900 to RM1,500 this year.

For those who are single with a household income of RM3,000 and below will have their BR1M payment increased by RM150 in June, making it RM600.

The new category for BR1M is for those with a household income of between RM4,000 and RM5,000. They will receive a total of RM700, which will be made in two payments of RM350 each in June and August.

Najib said the extra funds for the BR1M payments was possible due to the good financial and economic health of the country.

“We also had an increase in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection, which the Opposition often criticises.

“Because of our strong economy, the Barisan government would like to share the initiatives with the people,” he said.

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/04/07/bn-manifesto-double-joy-for-br1m-recipients/#ATTzss2kx4rOFQ21.99

*********************

All the increase in allowances, salary and direct subsistence would translate a more active domestic market and would promote the bigger cycle for every Ringgit available in the open.

It is by far the boldness economic transformation agenda, by optimising all domestic resources having the complete systemic support of affordable homes to all, higher quality of life, higher productivity from higher skilled workforce which translate to higher household income, more comprehensive infrastructure nation wide and welfare of family units, especially working parents with young children.

BN, which a political organisation of 14 component parties ensure all pockets of Malaysians anywhere in the Federation, would be included in the transformation.

A Sabahan MP’s note on the BN Manifesto about the policy of ‘inclusiveness’:

KENYATAAN DATO’ SRI ANIFAH HAJI AMAN

Manifesto Barisan Nasional bagi PRU 2018 bersifat inklusif, realistik dan berkesinambungan dengan apa yang telah dilakukan kerajaan sebelum ini.

Manifesto Barisan Nasional juga menekankan sifat konsensus dan ‘power sharing’ yang sebenar antara negeri dan pusat: konsisten dengan agenda memperkasakan semangat MA63. Mengenali YAB Perdana Menteri, saya yakin dengan ketulusan beliau untuk memperbetulkan kesilapan dan kesalahan pada pihak kerajaan Persekutuan – khususnya pada zaman sentralisasi kuasa di bawah pimpinan Tun. Dr. Mahathir dahulu.

Dalam hal ini, Manifesto Barisan Nasional adalah jauh lebih ke hadapan dalam pemerkasaan negeri-negeri Borneo berbanding Pakatan Harapan. Bahkan, cadangan untuk menubuhkan Jawatankuasa Khas Kabinet untuk menyemak MA63 dalam Manifesto Pakatan Harapan adalah ‘redundant’, kerana sudah pun dilakukan oleh Kerajaan BN pimpinan YAB Dato’ Sri Najib Razak – dengan saya sendiri mempengerusikan jawatankuasa tersebut. Ini sekaligus menunjukkan betapa Pakatan Harapan sebenarnya tidak peka dengan sebarang perkembangan berkaitan MA63.

Justeru, demi kesinambungan dan pembangunan berterusan rakyat Sabah, saya berharap agar sokongan dan mandat diberikan semula kepada Barisan Nasional.

*Dato’ Sri Anifah Haji Aman*

7 April 2018

Kuala Lumpur

*************

Foreign Minister Anifah had been playing a very paramount role inthe Malaysian foreign policy and international diplomacy the past nine years.

The transformation is immense as Malaysia is gaining more prominence and higher role in various global dialogue and it is a very strategic extension of Malaysia’s foreign trade.

An MP of forty years representing people of Johor Bahru and has been in the central core administration in various capacity since Tun Razak’s time opined that Prime Minister Najib’s leadership is optimising competency and capability.

New Straits Times story:

The Barisan Nasional manifesto is realistic and something that can be implemented and are not based on populist measures, said Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad. Pic by NSTP/HAIRUL ANUAR RAHIM

JOHOR BARU: The Barisan Nasional manifesto is realistic and something that can be implemented and are not based on populist measures, said Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad.

The incumbent Johor Baru member of Parliament said the promises made in the manifesto were based on the country’s capability and competence.

“It is also based on the BN government’s experience and knowledge in administrating the government with the aim of taking the country forward,” said Shahrir.

He said in comparing BN’s manifesto with the one announced by Pakatan Harapan (PH), the promises they made for Johor seemed to have been ‘copy-pasted’ and a lot them were copied.

“They always claim that Malaysia is bankrupt, so how would they know how to bring the country forward.

“BN’s advantage is that we look at the country’s ability in detail and with knowledge. What we promise can be implemented. For Example, we can raise the amount for Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) because we know that the country’s income from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will continue to rise every year.

“The opposition cannot see all these benefits because they are ruled by emotion. To them, everything is Najib’s (Prime Minister Najib Razak) fault,” said Shahrir.

He said the opposition also failed to come up with a manifesto that people can take seriously, as they do not pay attention to the people’s needs and requirements.

“The opposition talked about replacing the GST with the SST (Sales and Service Tax) and firing civil servants. For me this is all a drama.

“For BN, administrating or running this country is not a drama. The rakyat want a responsible, experienced, knowledgeable and adaptable government,” said Shahrir.

He was speaking to the media after closing the Science and Mathematics Olympiad organised by Gagasan Pendidikan Melayu Malaysia at SMK Bandar Baru Uda.

Shahrir, who is also Felda chairman, said the manifesto will also continue with the changes that were started in 2017 which would make Felda more inclusive.

“The focus will be on the settlers income and the question of the settlers’ debts, especially the excessive ones. For the next five years starting this year, Felda has allocated a total of RM300 million to help settlers settle their debts so that their income will not be affected,” said Shahrir.

He said in BN’s manifesto, Felda settlers would also be eligible for the replanting grants that was announced in the 2018 Budget.

“The grant, which provides a fund of RM7,500 per hectare, was initially provided for other smallholders but under the manifesto, we will include Felda settlers so that they too can enjoy the grant,” said Shahrir.

********************

The last bit is probably the most important bit, for BN’s struggle for the people. It had been the cornerstone policy of BN taking the  nation to move  forward, grow and achieve better stature. However, it is without compromising the Bumiputera Agenda. It is policy to alleviate and uplift them not at the expense of the others.

New Straits Times story:

KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional promises that the special position of the Bumiputeras and Muslim citizens, as stated in Article 153 of the Federal Constitution, will continue to be strengthened without marginalising the other races.

BN stressed that while the position of Islam as the Federal religion will continue to be preserved, the rights and freedom to embrace and practice other religions will still be protected by the government.

Among the highlights in the party’s manifesto is to establish an Al-Quran University to produce more huffaz (scholars who have memorised the Quran), graduates who possess skills not only in memorising the Quran, but are also equipped with expertise in other professional fields.

Barisan Nasional stresses that while the position of Islam as the Federal religion will continue to be preserved, the rights and freedom to embrace and practice other religions will still be protected by the government. Pic by RASUL AZLI SAMAD

The coalition aims to produce at least 125,000 huffaz with professional qualifications such as in Science, Mathematics and Engineering.

The existing tahfiz (religious schools) on the other hand will be complemented with the Giat MARA Skills Training Scheme.

BN will also continue to implement the Bumiputera Economic Transformation 2.0 agenda to ensure Bumiputeras play a significant role in the country’s economic development.

Launched by the prime minister in November 2011, the Bumiputera Economic Transformation Roadmap 2.0 sets out six principles of economic transformation, namely market-friendly, need-based, merit-based, transparent, pro-growth and sustainability in order to build a competitive advantage.

Another focus of the party is to ensure Malaysia becomes a leader in the global halal industry with Bumiputeras as the main industry driver.

BN also hopes to establish a committee on the harmonisation of syariah and civil courts and to empower the Syariah Court.

In an effort to improve the Islamic banking system, BN hopes to introduce a syariah-compliant Home Sale and Purchase Agreement by amending schedule H and G of Act 118, the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act.

Several other areas that the party hopes to improve include:

• Restructuring aid to the Orang Asli by constructing infrastructure that improves their quality of life, provides robust economic opportunities and diversifies income sources.

• Increasing the quality of haj and umrah management services as well as the wellbeing of pilgrims.

• Enhancing the role of mosques as activity centres for the Muslim community through the Mosque Transformation Programme.

• The mosque administration and management personnel will be given training and al-Hafiz will receive an increase in allowance.

• Increasing the number of surau that are allowed to hold Friday prayers.

• Establishing a special fund to upgrade the education and safety regulations of religious schools to meet national standards.

• Improving the quality and expertise of stakeholders in Islamic administration such as the imam, fardu ain and kifayah (KAFA) and takmir teachers, religious teachers, syariah officers and Syariah Court judges, an Islamic Training Academy of Malaysia (ALIM) and Syariah Judiciary Academy of Malaysia.

• Providing Arabic Language Intensive Training Courses to assist Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia (STAM) holders to pass the Imtihan Qabul examination, which is the main requirement for higher education qualification in Arab countries.

• Continuing to support the independence of the Palestinian state and recognising Baitulmaqdis as its official capital.

************************

 

So far, more than nine of ten promises have been delivered or work-in-progress. More goodies are included, to ensure everyone is not left behind in the Transformation Plan for Malaysia.

This is why voters decided who to lead and take care of business, so that everyone can do about the business in going concern and gets a bottomline.

Published in: on April 8, 2018 at 15:00  Leave a Comment  

The Geely Grand Plan 

Geely started 14 years after Proton. Yet they quietly grew from a typical technology firm from the Far East and started to clone existing products in the market.

They did very well and quite quickly. All, without much attention especially the media from the West.

The stealth growth enabled Geely to come up and openly bid for one of the world’s renown marque for cars and other transportation, which at the time bleeding to death. Despite the infusion of a rescue plan by Ford, Volvo needed a much boost to put its products back in the fighting range with the harsh competition, infusing technology, comfort and energy effecticient on top design, amongst other criteria to nurse back a dying marque and loyal followers gone.

Quietly, Geely transformed Volvo and brought forth two great products XC90 and S90, on top of strengthening the financial position and putting profitability to the global renown Swedish marque.

The 2016 revenue is SEK164b (Swedish Krona) with operational profits recorded at SEK6.6b Swedish Krona, for sales recorded at 534,332 units worldwide.

(SEK1.00 = USD0.125)

In short, Volvo recorded USD 20b in revenue for 2016. Just for size, Volvo global sales pre-Geely (2010) was at 334,000 units.

At the moment, Geely already employing 6,500 engineers and scientists in their research and design facility, which would be risen to 12,000.

Geely quickly learnt everything that Volvo could offer of a company which has been designing and manufacturing premium motorcars since the 1920s. This include the production protocol.

They already have an EEV segment C car on the roads in China, which has a range of 300km.

Volvo is targeting to produce 1 million EEV cars by 2025. Volvo already on the road to realise the Swedish Govt policy that zero death due to traffic by 2020.

Imagine what is in store for Proton, from this point onwards.

Geely as a 49.9% new shareholders of Proton, would provide the necessary capital, be it cash, planet and machinery, relevant technology and benefactor from the Geely experience so far in China and the Volvo experience.

Proton itself required heavy corporate and internal transformation, to move forward. This include the discipline and protocol of the entire eco-system that have been propping Proton to what it is, rightly or wrongly.

The entire vendor program would be transformed as well in this corporate exercise, where it is said that many of the vendors and suppliers are cronies of previous regime and were milking honey supplying below average parts and components.

A transformed model would be tweaked to make the philosophy and strategic intent to have an auto industry remained relevant and self sustaining, especially with infusion of a strategic partner and fresh approach and perspective of doing things.

The much needed shot in the arm by a success story like Geely, equally driven to  continuously grow, innovate and product positioning to a target quite unimaginable to the skeptics.

 

Published in: on September 3, 2017 at 12:00  Leave a Comment  

Anarchist foiled again

Pro-Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad cyberanarchist Syed Akbar Ali, through his blog Outsyed the Box attempted to demonise another Federal Government entity Petronas with a posting laced with lies and slanders, as part of the strategy to demonise the Malaysian Government.

Outsyed-the-Box blog (in his usual fashion, take it off the air just within hours of posting):

Petronas CEO, Board of Directors Should Just Resign And Go Away

My readers will recall that for years I have been warning against Petronas’ wasteful spending especially in this Pacific Northwest LNG project in Canada.

I have said before that the losses incurred here by Petronas could be more than the amount lost in the 1MDB scandal.
The headlines yesterday have been highlighting Petronas cancelling the US$29 BILLION project in Canada.

Here is their Media Statement in full :

 

Pacific NorthWest LNG Project Is Not Proceeding

Today Pacific NorthWest LNG’s partners announced that the project will not be moving forward.

The decision was made by the project partners following a total review of the project amid changes in market conditions.

For almost five years we have been working with local governments, First Nations, residents and businesses about our proposed project and are very grateful for the support we have received.

Thank you to the communities of Port Edward and Prince Rupert for welcoming Pacific NorthWest LNG and hosting our local outreach offices. In addition, thank you to all the communities in northwestern BC who expressed an interest in the project and took the time to work with us.

We would also like to recognize the time and efforts of all the area First Nations, including the Lax Kwa’laams First Nation, Metlakatla First Nation, Kitsumkalum First Nation, Gitxaala First Nation and Gitga’at First Nation, and all of the other nations residing in the Prince Rupert area who have kindly provided us feedback.

Our team members have been warmly welcomed by the communities. Thank you to the dozens of local businesses who we have had the opportunity to work with in the recent years.

Pacific NorthWest LNG will complete our outstanding business commitments by the end of September. Our Prince Rupert and Port Edward offices are scheduled to be closed effective August 25, 2017.

My comments :  I hope our Opposition MPs will take this up in Parliament. For certainly the BN MPs have neither the brains nor the balls to ask questions about this collosal failure.

1. First of all please tell us (without bullshitting) exactly how big is this project?
Is it US29 BILLION (RM124 BILLION) or US36 BILLION (RM154 BILLION) or how much exactly?
The ketuanan boys already cannot figure out RM50 Billion.
Do you seriously expect them to figure out RM124 BILLION??  I dont think so.
So tell us exactly how big is this project in terms of Ringgit.
2.  And how many billions has Petronas lost so far in this doomed project? RM10 BILLION? RM 20 BILLION? RM50 BILLION? Exactly how much?
Look at that picture above. That tank farm has already been built. There is also a suspension bridge over there. Did Petronas have to build that too?
Didnt Petronas already build the pipeline?
Now all that will go to waste.
So exactly how much has Petronas lost in this fiasco?

3. Petronas crows that they sold equity in this project to foreign partners.  Fine. My question is have those partners paid any real money?  Meaning did they pay in full their portion of the paid up capital, share capital or whatever?
These folks are not  village idiots. In a project this size  there are bound to be ‘subject to’ clauses.   We will meet the cash calls subject to a, b, c, d, e etc.  So can Petronas tell us exactly what transpired.
4.  Finally I think the MACC should get involved in this case straight away.  It is too big a project and it has failed.  Tens of billions if not hundreds of billions of taxpayers funds have been lost. (Petronas is wholly owned by the Malaysian taxpayer).
The MACC  should not wait for the public to make reports before they start investigating.
I have been  commenting about  Petronas’ investments in Canada for a long time because I have been hearing plenty rumours that  plenty crap has been going on.

The fine wine connoiseurs have been flying the wrong cargo.

Super Moron’s muallap guy actually runs Petronas.

This ‘global – glokal’ adventure has become a huge failure

.
Tabung Haji blowing hundreds of millions buying real estate overseas.

MARA blowing tens of millions buying hotels overseas.

Sime Darby losing RM800 Million in Qatar or somewhere.

1MDB losing BILLIONS  “investing” in units entah apa.

Now Petronas losing tens of billions in Canada.

If you want to joli-joli, please do so with your own father’s money.   Pakai duit bapak sendiri lah. Dont burn the taxpayers money.
It is better to use our taxpayer’s money and invest inside our own country.  This way even when you screw up, the money still stays inside Malaysia.

It is also better to use our taxpayers money and use it to learn how to do business inside our own country.    This way even when you screw up, the money still stays inside Malaysia.

In the Sime Darby fiasco in Qatar or somewhere, the local boys did not even understand what is the ‘time value of money’.  Rented equipment was left idle. The kids did not understand what was wrong with that.

Just like many now say there is nothing wrong with the economy.

The Petronas CEO and the BOD should just resign and go away.

Syed Akbar Ali at 5:20:00 PM

*************************

Cowardice blogger Syed, in his usual self throw slanders indiscriminately with the intention, the contentious points high lighted adds to the on-going demonisation strategy.

Mainstream business paper The Malaysian Reserve also raised the same question. However, in the professional manner and not with the intent to make Petronas ‘another damned Government entity’.

The Malaysian Reserve:

Questions remain after Petronas aborts Canada LNG project

Petronas Canada LNG

by MARK RAO and Pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

Petroliam Nasional Bhd’s (Petronas) decision to halt the US$29 billion (RM124.12 billion) liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in British Columbia, Canada, has raised questions on how and when the energy firm will recover its multibillion investments.

Petronas purchased Progress Energy Resources Corp — the operator of the North Montney Joint Venture for the Pacific NorthWest LNG facility — for C$5.2 billion (RM17.79 billion) in 2012.

The state-owned firm had invested hundreds of millions in its hunt for gas in what is the company’s single largest investment abroad.

There are questions on Petronas’ upstream assets in Canada and the impact of the LNG project’s indefinite cancellation.

Petronas had also faced strong objections from the indigenous people, environmentalists and local politicians. Despite the approval for the project, the Canadian authorities had slapped 190 conditions before work could start in September last year, spurring speculation that the energy company may dispose of its stake in the project.

The national energy company is also expected to take financial charges for the Canada LNG project.

At the end of last year, Petronas’ accumulated amortisation and impairment losses for goodwill, exploration expenditure and other intangible assets was RM34.6 billion.

Exploration expenditure accounted for RM12.1 billion of the impairment.

Petronas had cited “extremely challenging environment” for the decision to abandon the Pacific NorthWest LNG project at Port Edward, British Columbia.

“We are disappointed that the extremely challenging environment brought about by the prolonged depressed prices and shifts in the energy industry have led us to this decision,” said executive VP and CEO for upstream Datuk Mohd Anuar Taib.

Petronas said the decision was made after a careful and total review of the project.

“We, along with our North Montney Joint Venture partners, remain committed to developing our significant natural gas assets in Canada and will continue to explore all options as part of our long-term investment strategy moving forward,” Mohd Anuar said.

Pacific NorthWest LNG is majority-owned by Petronas. Japan Petroleum Exploration Co Ltd, Brunei National Petroleum Co, Indian Oil Corp and Sinopec-China Huadian are partners in Pacific NorthWest LNG and its associated natural gas supply.

According to an oil and gas (O&G) analyst, the overall industry is presently not supportive of large-scale LNG projects — including the Petronas-led Pacific NorthWest LNG facility — due to the low gas prices.

“Petronas entered the project with the intention to develop the natural gas field themselves for the Asian export market,” said the analyst, who does not want to be named.

“With substantial decline in prices, the move no longer makes sense.”

The analyst said the return on investment from the project — situated on Lelu Island within the district of Port Edward — is not justifiable at current gas prices.

The O&G prices rout that began in the middle of 2014 had driven many global energy companies to abandon their ambitious exploration plans.

Oversupply also weighed down on LNG prices for the Northeast Asia spot market, performing below US$6 per million British thermal units (BTU) early last month compared to above US$14 per million BTU from July to October in 2014.

Petronas’ Pacific NorthWest LNG project was not the only casualty from the O&G rout.

The Prince Rupert LNG facility — also located in the British Columbia region — was terminated in March this year, while approximately US$23 billion in Canadian energy assets were disposed of by international oil firms in 2017 alone.

“Petronas can sit on their assets. When prices recover and the timing is right, the company can try again,” said the analyst.

********************

In reality, the actual corporate exercise undertaken by Petronas in Canada are far from how their perception has been abused through the social media such as Syed’s blog.

These are the facts of the projects in Canada, obtained through Petronas.

PETRONAS’ business interests in Canada

 

  • PETRONAS pursues its business interest in Canada through its wholly-owned subsidiary Progress Energy Canada Ltd.

 

  • Progress Energy operates the North Montney Joint Venture (NMJV) area in which it owns a 62% equity interest. The remaining 38% interest are owned by Japan Petroleum Export Corporation, IndianOil Corporation, Sinopec-China Huadian and PetroleumBRUNEI.

 

  • Progress Energy also has a 62% equity ownership in the Pacific NorthWest LNG project (PNW LNG), with the remaining 38% stake owned by the same partners mentioned above.

 

  • There are also two related pipeline contracts namely:
    • NOVA Gas Transmission Line (NGTL) that brings gas southward from the NMJV area to the main Canadian gas grid called AECO; and
    • Prince Rupert Gas Transmission (PRGT) pipeline to bring gas westward to the PNW LNG project site from the NGTL connection to the AECO grid.

 

The North Montney Joint Venture

 

  • The NMJV area is approximately 800,000 acres of largely contiguous mineral rights in Canada. This is approximately 3,300 sq km and almost twice the size of Malacca.

 

  • Since 2012, significant investments have been made to prove up reserves and resources in the area.

 

  • Production has increased from around 200 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd in 2012 to 540 mmscf/day in 2017. The gas is supplied via pipeline to the domestic market in Canada.

 

  • For the first half of 2017, the venture has generated a revenue of CAD261 million (equivalent of RM861 million).

 

  • To-date, the partners have proven a combined total of 22.3 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of proven resources (from 13.4 tcf previously) in NMJV, making it PERONAS’ second largest resource holding after Malaysia.

 

  • If produced at a similar level to PETRONAS’ production in Peninsular Malaysia of about two billion cubic feet/day, the resource could accord PETRONAS a continuous business presence in Canada for almost 20 years.

 

The Pacific NorthWest LNG project

 

  • Although the North Montney is already producing natural gas for domestic consumption, the proposed PNW LNG project was first conceived in 2012 as another option to accelerate the monetization of the gas resources from the area by producing LNG for the export markets.

 

  • In 2013, TransCanada was appointed by Progress Energy to design, build, own and operate the PRGT, a 900-km long pipeline to deliver natural gas the proposed PNWLNG site. It would have included the construction and operation of a pipeline, three compressor stations and a metering station, with an initial capacity of 2.0 billion cubic feet per day.

 

  • The PNWLNG project was sanctioned by all its shareholders in June 2015, pending approval of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) and firming up additional project scope and costs.

 

  • The CEAA approval was received in September 2016 with 190 conditions. These conditions, together with further firming up of project scope and costs, resulted in a significant cost increase to the project.

 

  • At the same time, starting from June 2014, oil prices had started its unprecedentedly prolonged drop (until now and into the foreseeable future), which resulted in drastic structural shifts in the industry and changed market landscape and conditions.

 

  • The shareholders of PNW LNG, after a thorough and lengthy review of the project from all aspects, found that it did not meet its economic threshold and decided in July 2017 to not proceed with the project.

 

  • Concurrently, the contract for the design and construction of the PRGT pipeline with TransCanada was terminated.

 

What’s next for PETRONAS in Canada?

 

  • PETRONAS remains committed to Canada through Progress Energy, which owns by all accounts a world-class resource in North Montney. The subsidiary is now finalizing its strategy for Canada and North America post-PNWLG project cancellation.

 

  • PETRONAS is positioning Progress Energy to be one of the top natural gas exporters in North America, looking at various options to monetise the resources.

 

  • PETRONAS believes that the LNG industry could thrive in British Columbia with the right project at the right time.
  • The development of LNG business requires a long term view of the market, world-class natural gas resources, competitive project cost and supportive market conditions.

**********************

If Syed had done his research properly, another interesting point it is timely for Petronas make a ‘tactical retreat’, considering the North American LNG market.

It is not about withdrawing from Nortn America completely but making the right maneuvres to mitigate any setbacks, especially in projects as large as these and the striking the balance and right formula with many variables and volatility of the commodity and produce.

Natural Resources Magazine dot net story:

Oversupplied North American markets could keep Atlantic Canada’s natural gas reserves stranded

 

What goes up must come down. And vice versa. Yes, prices for the cleanest burning fossil fuel have been depressed for what seems like a long time. Growing production from tight rock basins in the United States and Canada is largely to blame, and the forecasts are predicting prices won’t rebound any time soon. That’s not good news for anyone looking to exploit Atlantic Canada’s natural gas reserves. But the oil and gas industry is a cyclical business. Prices could return to the glory days of the early 2000s sooner than the experts expect.

PRICING POINT

The short-term outlook for natural gas prices is not appetizing for companies who might be tempted to develop Atlantic Canada’s reserves, or reserves anywhere in Canada, according to recent National Energy Board analysis.

Source: Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board; Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers Statistical Handbook

 

THE WEST IS THE BEST

Western Canada is Canada’s undisputed king when it comes to natural gas production, contributing well over 90 per cent of the country’s annual output. But how much production is each province or territory actually responsible for? Here is how it looked in October, 2015, the most recent figures the NEB has in the public domain.

Source: National Energy Board

CAUSE AND EFFECT

Of course, low natural gas prices will impact the amount of this fossil fuel that is produced in Canada. In 2005, an average of 17 bcf/d of natural gas was produced in Canada. A lot less will be produced in 2017 if the NEB’s natural gas price projections prove accurate.

Source: Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board; Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers Statistical Handbook

 

BIG BROTHER

Oversupplied North American markets will likely keep Atlantic Canada’s natural gas reserves in the ground for some time. Growing production from the United States is the main reason why those markets are awash in gas, as output has skyrocketed stateside since 2005.

Source: U.S. Department of Energy

*******************

It is glaringly clear why Syed by practice takes his blog posting down after three or four hours posting.

There is no one in Petronas, especially high at the executive leadership and/or Board of Directors level go to Canada to “Joli-Joli” monies of the national oil firm, which is a Fortune 500 company and one of the ‘New Seven Sisters’.

This clearly a slander, designed to defame men and women appointed by their experience and merit to become the stewards and run the wealthiest state firm in the region.

It is for the very reason that his slanders are based on lies and manipulated information, meant to defame, demonise and sow hatred against Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak, his leadership and initiatives and administration.

Syed Akbar Ali is not new at this slander, demonisation and even making seditious statements. Somewhat ten years ago before his blog even existed, he was charged under Sedition Act.

The Sun Daily story:

Bloggers charged with sedition

PETALING JAYA (May 6, 2008): Police today slapped sedition charges on a blogger and an author, setting the stage for sensational trials later in the year.

The two men are Malaysia Today webmaster Raja Petra Raja Kamarudin and businessman and writer Syed Akbar Ali who had allegedly posted seditious remarks on the former’s website. Both pleaded not guilty.

Raja Petra was charged in a sessions court here under Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act 1948 with publishing a seditious article titled “Let’s Send the Altantuya Murderers to Hell” in his blog www.malaysia-today.net on April 25. He allegedly committed the offence in his house, No. 5, Jalan BRP 5/5, Bukit Rahman Putra, Sungai Buloh.

The 58-year-old charismatic blogger caused a stir when he refused to take up judge Nurmala Salim’s bail offer of RM5,000, choosing instead to go to Sungai Buloh prison, until the trial fixed for Oct 6-10.

If found guilty, Raja Petra can be jailed a maximum of three years and/or face a fine of up to RM5,000.

Raja Petra was represented by a six lawyers – Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh, K. Balaguru, PKR’s Selayang MP William Leong, J. Chandra, DAP’s Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng and Jeswinderjit Singh.

His prosecution was a media event at the court, with blogger friends and Pakatan Rakyat politicians supporting him. Among those who turned up were Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Ipoh Timur MP Lim Kit Siang and Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar.

Raja Petra had hours earlier turned up at the Duta Court Complex, where he was told to be by the police. However, after waiting for more than an hour, he received a call on his handphone from the police telling him to go to the PJ sessions court instead.

Raja Petra was vocal in condemning the sedition charge, saying that there was nothing to be worried about.

“I have been asked if this sedition charge is part of a war on bloggers. We bloggers declared war on the government four years ago. So it is not the government who has declared war on us. We want to change the government,” said Raja Petra, who added that he was expecting to be charged.

He was detained under the Internal Security Act in 2001, and released the same year.

His departure to Sungai Buloh prison was met with bloggers shouting “Makkal Sathi”, “Reformasi” and “Suara Petra, Suara Malaysia”.

Raja Petra’s website issued a call for donation of RM1 per person to his legal aid fund. At 6.45pm, RM24,500 had been credited to his CIMB bank account, and the fund had collected an additional US$3,283.61 through a Paypal account. It has been closed since.

Meanwhile, Syed Akbar was charged in a Kuala Lumpur sessions court with publishing seditious remarks in the comment section of an article in the Malaysia Today website.

He allegedly committed the offence in the premises of Zeenath Begum Jewellers Sdn Bhd, No. 2007, Jalan Masjid India, here at 2.59pm on June 5, 2007.

The comment with the heading “It is easy to impress the Malays” was made on an article titled “Malaysia’s Organised Crime Syndicate: All Roads Lead to Putrajaya” published by blogger Raja Petra Raja Kamarudin who maintains the website.

The 48-year-old father of two was charged under the same section.

Syed Akbar, a former banker who now runs a business with his wife on Jalan Masjid India, was represented by counsel Ashok Kandiah, Haris Ibrahim and Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, Bernama reported.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Ishak Yusof, assisted by Hanafiah Zakaria, recommended to the court for him to be allowed bail of RM5,000 but Ashok pleaded for a lower amount.

Judge S. M. Komathy Suppiah set bail at RM3,000 with one surety and fixed June 10 to hear submissions by both parties on a preliminary objection raised by the defence who claimed that the charge was groundless at the start of the proceedings.

Syed Akhbar’s wife posted the bail.

 

*********************

However, it is believed half way through the case the charge was dropped. Then was during Attorney General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail’s time.

That is why by conduct and practice, Syed would take his posting off the air a few hours after publishing it for fear of being nabbed again.

ALL his blog postings are laced with lies, slanders, defamation, obnoxious and even seditious words, which would land him in trouble if the authority is quick enough to capture the details of his postings and whip up a proper charge.

Again, this cyber-anarchist is foiled.

*Updated 200pm

Published in: on July 28, 2017 at 10:00  Leave a Comment